This is a very useful and novel addition to the plethora of self-help books out there. Gaffney's basic premise is that we are hot-wired to receive negativity - and dwell on it - from an early age, and that we need to maintain a strong sense of self-control to limit our instinctive acceptance of negative thoughts and actions, and concentrate on more positive ones - thus allowing us to "flourish".
Some of her ideas really hit the spot. I really personally recognised the concept that you can have a good relationship with a person or organisation completely soured by an incident (or series of incidents) and from that moment on, not only will every interaction with that person or organisation be coloured negatively, but you will revise your past recollections of them to reflect your new negative options, even if all your previous thoughts about them were neutral or positive.
If I have a criticism of Gaffney's style it is this. She is a psychologist and, like any good social scientist, she likes to expound upon the reasons behind her explanations in quite some detail. Whilst some people might be fascinated by relations of the way the brain develops during childhood and the results of research carried out by workplace and marriage guidance psychologists during the last 30 years, I found the detail a little wearing. Like a coconut, there's a lot of really good stuff inside this book, but sometimes the detail made it a tough nut to crack.